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July wellness focus - FUN!

Published over 1 year ago • 4 min read

Hello Reader,

This month we did a short easy challenge. Just have more fun! You may remember that this year everything we do is focused on mental health and resiliency. Fun is a powerful tool for optimism and rebounding from stress.

Here is the post I shared with the team, as always, feel free to repurpose or borrow any of it for your team!

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This month’s wellness focus is simple, but sometimes hard to achieve. FUN!


Did you know that playfulness and fun can improve your mental health, your ability to handle stressors, and your whole outlook on life? In the midst of huge challenges like a pandemic, economic instability, family stress, political fears, etc, fun can feel really trivial. But making room for fun in your life can help you deal with the heavy stuff in a much healthier way.

What is fun?

What does it mean to have fun? What are the components of fun?
You know when you’re having fun, but how can you design your life to incorporate more of it?
A few things that make up fun moments are pleasure/playfulness, connection, and engagement.

  • When you think of pleasure or playfulness, think doing something just for the enjoyment of it. Not because you have to, simply because you want to.
  • Connection is fairly self-explanatory, sharing that joy with someone or something else. Did you know that social connections are also deeply impactful for your mental health? Designing opportunities for connection in your life is very important.
  • And finally engagement. You want to do things that absorb you, get you into a flow state, and let you forget the rest of the world, obligations, and worries. This is that feeling where you’re having so much fun that you can’t believe the sun is already going down.

*Caveat - the type of fun we’re talking about here isn’t binging Netflix or scrolling on TikTok. Those are passive states, where you are not engaged, not connecting and acting playfully. This type of relaxation does not have the same benefits for your brain, and can even heighten your anxiety or depression symptoms.

How to incorporate more fun in your life

  • Ditch the fake fun - this might be the most important thing in this whole post. In fact, we’re doing a challenge on it next month! Before the pandemic, the average person was spending upwards of four hours a day on their phone—not their tablet or computer, just their phone. That adds up to 60 full days a year, or the equivalent of nine months’ worth of 40-hour workweeks. 🤯

You might think that you don’t have time for fun, but you do. You’re just currently wasting that time on your phone. 🥵

  • Make it routine - a weekly soccer game or music jam session. Monthly date with your friend to walk dogs at the local shelter. Every Sunday night you cook a new-to-you recipe with music on. Having a routine plan makes it easier to do it!
  • Do a burst - text 1 friend every day for a check in for 10 days, music every night with dinner for 2 weeks, after dinner neighborhood walk with family and no phones every night. Make a specific challenge for yourself for a set period of time, and see if this helps jumpstart some fun habits.
  • Daily plan - look at your calendar for the day and schedule a moment of fun. This planning might sound less than fun, but it can help you get in the habit of breaking up the day with fun moments. When can you take a dance break? When can you color with music on for 10 minutes?


Fun ideas

Fun looks different for each person. Think of some times that you’ve been in that flow state of fun. What were you doing? Who were you with? Where were you? Pull out the common threads of what makes something fun for you so you can plan to have more of those in your life.
Here are some small ideas for incorporating more fun into your life:

  • Send quick check in texts to 5 friends. A quick check in can jump start relationships that have gone a little more cold.
  • Create - woodworking, pottery, painting, whatever gets you into that engaged state.
  • Add fun to tasks - put on music while you make dinner, pour a glass of wine before you work on your budget spreadsheet, dance while you clean, listen to a podcast (fun one) while you grocery shop.
  • Dance like nobody's watching. Try a 5 min dance break at lunch, or right before bed!
  • Read page turner books that someone else might think are not worthy of your time, better yet, read them with a buddy so you can talk about them later!
  • Call someone on the actual phone 😱
  • Craft - especially with others! Paint pottery with your friends on Zoom, or better yet, in person. Start a knitting or quilting circle.
  • Play a game - with family or friends, virtually or in person. Maybe a weekly or monthly game night?
  • Join a league - bowling, trivia, soccer, tennis, kickball. Regular commitments to have fun are a great thing!
  • Color in a coloring book.
  • Go on a picnic without your phone.
  • Play with your dog or cat!
  • Play like a kid:
    • Build a living room fort
    • Make a ridiculous contest like who can make a sound the longest
    • Build a sand castle
    • Jump on a trampoline (try some tricks!)


It honestly doesn’t matter what the fun is, it just matters that you feel that playful, connected, flow feeling!
Challenge

I challenge you to incorporate 5 fun things in the next 5 days. Don’t overthink it! Just find 5 moments where you can be playful, connect, and engage. Put your phone/TV/computer down and do something just for the fun of it.

And then report back! I’d love to hear what you did for fun, how hard it felt to carve out time for it, and what benefit you felt from it.
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We've had a great response so far! People are doing things like archery, farmers market, going to Target, trying a new recipe, biking instead of driving, and mini dance parties.

I hope you try this with your team, its a fun one!

Elizabeth

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